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Einstein, Visualization, and Your Career

Harrison Barnes
By Dec 26,2023
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In this article Harrison discusses the importance of imagination and visualization. Harrison believes that the most important skill any of us can master is creative visualization. Creative visualization is the art of creating pictures in your mind of something you would like to happen in the future. There have been an incredible number of studies that have confirmed the power of positive thoughts. You can get tremendous amount of strength and power from visualizing positive as opposed to negative results. Therefore it is crucial that you are able to visualize positive events and outcomes. Focus on the results you want to achieve.

One of the little-known facts about Albert Einstein is that he attended a school that followed the teaching methods of the Swiss educator Johann Pestalozzi.  Pestalozzi schools taught children in what was known as the Pestalozzi Method (the “Method”).  Under the Method, it was believed that instead of dealing with words, children should learn through activity and objects. They should be free to pursue their own interests and reach their own conclusions. Much of Pestalozzi’s teaching methods can be found in a book he published in 1801 called How Gertrude Teaches Her Children. In this book, he discusses the importance of spontaneity and allowing children to arrive at answers themselves. Visualization was a major component in this method.  Pestalozzi believed that visualization was among the mind’s most powerful features and that imagery was where all knowledge started.

The school environment created by Pestalozzi’s method of eduction created the perfect environment for Einstein to develop as he did. According to a biography of Einstein, Einstein: His Life and Universe:

It [Aarau] was a perfect school for Einstein. The teaching was based on the philosophy of a Swiss educational reformer of the early nineteenth century, Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, who believed in encouraging students to visualize images. . . . The visual understanding of concepts, as stressed by Pestalozzi and his followers in Aarau, became a significant aspect of Einstein’s genius. “Visual understanding is the essential and only true means of teaching how to judge things correctly,” Pestalozzi wrote, and “the learning of numbers and language must be definitely subordinated.”

Given his early learning, it is no surprise that Einstein used visualization throughout his life. At age 16, Einstein used visualization when he discovered that the speed of light was always constant. Einstein believed that visual understanding was the most important form of education and more important than knowledge. Later in life Einstein would write:

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination circles the world.

Arguably the most important skill any of us can master is creative visualization. Visualizing events and outcomes before they occur is an incredibly valuable skill. Consider this quote from Arnold Schwarzenegger:

When I was very young, I visualized myself being and having what it was I wanted. Mentally I never had any doubts about it. The mind is really so incredible. Before I won my first Mr. Universe, I walked around the tournament like I owned it. The title was already mine. I had won it so many times in my mind that there was no doubt I would win it. Then, when I moved on to the movies, the same thing. I visualized myself being a successful actor and earning big money. I could feel and taste success. I just knew it would all happen.

Creative visualization is the art of creating pictures in your mind of something you would like to happen in the future. This is not a special skill that needs to be developed by people; it is just something that we need to use. What you need to be able to do is to visualize positive events and outcomes.

Instead of visualizing negative outcomes and approaching life from a position of negativity, there is a tremendous amount of strength and power you can get from visualizing positive as opposed to negative results. The thoughts you have, create the reality that you experience. An incredible number of studies have confirmed the power of positive thoughts and visualization to create unbelievable results for people.

  • In the late 1960s research by radiation oncologist O. Carl Simton and his wife, psychologist Stephanie Simton, discovered that cancer patients who used imagery and visualization to stimulate an immune response lived longer than those who did not.
  • In the August 2002 issue of the Journal of Psychology and Social Psychology, it was reported that older people who viewed aging as a positive asset lived seven and a half years longer than those who had a negative view of aging.

The idea that someone can live longer by simply viewing aging in a positive way is astonishing to me. I am surprised that this is not spoken about more. For example, we all know that people who quit smoking can live a few years longer; we also know that eating a certain way can enhance our life span. Why is it that no one speaks of the value of our state of mind in influencing our life span?

How we feel is based on what we focus on. When you focus on the negative, you are likely to feel negative. When you focus on the positive, you are likely to feel positive. We do not experience reality–we experience our representation of reality. How we feel is based on what we focus on.

Your success in your current job, your success in your job search, and more will be determined by the things you focus on. Focus on the positive and the results you want to achieve.

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About Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes is the Founder of BCG Attorney Search and a successful legal recruiter himself. Harrison is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. His firm BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys. BCG Attorney Search works with attorneys to dramatically improve their careers by leaving no stone unturned in a search and bringing out the very best in them. Harrison has placed the leaders of the nation’s top law firms, and countless associates who have gone on to lead the nation’s top law firms. There are very few firms Harrison has not made placements with. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placements attract millions of reads each year. He coaches and consults with law firms about how to dramatically improve their recruiting and retention efforts. His company LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.

About BCG Attorney Search

BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive that gets results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities that its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit www.BCGSearch.com.

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5 Responses to “ Einstein, Visualization, and Your Career”
  1. Avatar Caroline T says:

    This was very interesting and well written. I’m a college student, and I’ve heard similar things to this. It reminds me a lot of the book ‘Blink’ by Malcolm Gladwall. The thesis of his book was a little different than the thesis of this article, but it discussed the huge effects that simple, even subconcsious changes an attitude can shape our lives for the better.

  2. Avatar Matthew B. says:

    This is pretty cool, but I’m not sure if this method will work. It would be interesting to test it in some schools, possibly in small groups and see how affective it is. I would love to see this method really work, it would help considerably!

  3. Avatar Matthew B. says:

    Matthew B. 02.26.09 at 8:21 pm
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    This is pretty cool, but I’m not sure if this method will work. It would be interesting to test it in some schools, possibly in small groups and see how affective it is. I would love to see this method really work, it would help considerably!

  4. Avatar Jane Kaiser says:

    I love the idea about viewing aging in a positive way. It seems like only our culture is determined to think negatively about it – to think, those who simply let time take its course are living longer and fuller lives. Thank you for the article!

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